While Music Row is well known for its production of albums, hit singles and award-winning collaborations, neighbors can expect to hear more sounds of theatrical scores as Belmont’s Ocean Way Nashville becomes the premiere spot for video game score production. Nashville is no longer home to just country music stars and frequent live shows – the video game scoring industry has taken a liking to Music City and with Ocean Way at the helm, the recordings and their awards continue to stack up.
Since its purchase by Belmont University in 2001, Ocean Way Nashville has become a leader in the music production industry, both locally and globally, and in recent years, the studio has produced a number of scores for popular games that have gone on to accumulate a number of national recognitions. At the 2014 GANG (Game Audio Network Guild) Awards, “The Last of Us,” a best-selling game with score composed by Gustavo Santaoello and recorded at Ocean Way, won Best Audio. In March 2014, the studio scored “Dragon Age Inquisition” by famed composer Trevor Morris, which went on to win the 2015 D.I.C.E. Awards Game of the Year.
Director of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios Patrick McMakin said media music – music recorded for film, television, video games, etc. – is quickly becoming a large part of the music business and because of that, Ocean Way has opened its doors to a diverse set of projects. Through this diversification, McMakin said the studio has had the opportunity to learn skills and techniques that weren’t preciously part of their day to day. “It’s made us better, because the scores are fairly large in size, and we’re working with top level composers who work with orchestra all over the world. The knowledge they have brought in our doors has allowed us to improve every aspect of how we operate Studio A technically.”
Austin Williams, a junior theatre performance major, competed in last week’s “Price is Right” Spring Break Edition and took home more than $32,000 in prizes including trips to Las Vegas, Cancun and Spain, an Apple Macbook, iPad and iPhone and a Quadcoptor.
Williams is spending this semester in Los Angeles studying at Belmont West, a semester-long program where students reside in LA, study with local professionals and get access to some of the most exclusive internships in film, television and theatre. With West’s sister program, New York’s Belmont East, the University sends more than 25 students each semester to study in Nashville’s sister entertainment cities.
Williams said she and a few other Belmont West students were initially planning to attend “Whose Line Is It Anyway” as audience members when they learned of free tickets to the Spring Break Edition of “Price is Right.” Williams was the second contestant selected for the show, successfully bid on the Quadcoptor, won her game after identifying the price of an all-inclusive Cancun trip and spun an 85 on the big wheel, sending her to the Showcase Showdown.
In a recent U.S. News analysis that compared universities’ spending with the educational quality they offer, Belmont ranked No. 5 among its peers in the South region and was the highest ranked private University in that category, indicating the high efficiency of Belmont in providing excellent educational quality while keeping expenses low.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “This ranking is a huge deal to us because it reflects the overall Belmont strategy to provide a first-class education to our students while keeping our costs low. All credit for this accomplishment goes to the diligence of our faculty, staff and administration, who work extremely hard at their jobs and do their best to find effective—and economical—solutions to our campus’ needs.”
According to the website, U.S. News compared public and private colleges’ academic quality, as measured by their position in the 2015 Best Colleges rankings, to the funds spent to achieve that quality, and ranked the most efficient universities under that matrix. The publication noted, “Schools that are featured on these lists are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have far greater financial resources because of more state funding, higher tuition or larger endowments.”
As the leading media company and a top-ranked University, The Tennessean and Belmont University want to ensure that voters are well-informed on the issues facing Nashville and the positions of each candidate as they head to the polls in August.
Each debate will be free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved in advance. The debates will also be streamed live via The Tennessean and Belmont University’s digital platforms.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “We have long said that being in Nashville is one of Belmont University’s finest assets, and this institution is committed to returning that benefit through engagement with, and service to, our city. Hosting these debates also connects well with our mission to provide students with significant real-world educational experiences, demonstrating first-hand how they can be change agents in our community and the broader world.”
The Tennessean’s President and Publisher Laura Hollingsworth said, “Nashvillians can count on The Tennessean to cover the details and the in-depth stories about the election, the candidates and their stances on the issues leading into the election.”
More than 200 university students carried on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday when they spent five hours volunteering at the fifth annual MLK Day of Service. Students from Belmont, Lipscomb, Trevecca Nazarene, Vanderbilt and Tennessee State Universities gathered at TSU’s Kean Hall to celebrate and honor King through a day of community service. The MLK Day of Service is a nationally recognized event intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems and move individuals closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
Author Andrew Maraniss’s recent book Strong Inside highlights the 1966 enrollment of African-American basketball player Perry Wallace at Vanderbilt University. Wallace was the first African-American to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference. Maraniss delivered the opening remarks at the Day of Service, encouraging students to understand the importance of working together towards a common goal, no matter what school they attend. Maraniss emphasized the importance of the day’s service projects, as well as the engagement and collaboration that would occur among some of Nashville’s brightest students.
Belmont’s Director of Service-Learning Tim Stewart said the Day of Service is a great way to bring students together from all across the city and remind them of Dr. King’s belief in the importance of service and community. “I can’t think of a better way to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King than by coming together as colleges and universities to serve our great community,” he said.